There’s been a new development in the Tony Robbins case. It ought to be enough that he’s a charlatan with no skills other than a glib line of patter who gets millions of dollars every year for telling people what they want to hear, but he also has a history of harassing young girls. There is, as seems to be common in these cases, a long line of accusers.
Earlier this year, BuzzFeed News published a series of investigations revealing how multiple former staffers and fans have accused Robbins of sexual misconduct over three decades. Ten women have said Robbins groped them, exposed himself, or sexually harassed them while they were at his seminars or working for him, and nine of them said they were upset by his actions. Other records showed that he had berated victims of rape and domestic violence. He has denied every allegation and accused BuzzFeed News of “flat-out lying.”
Afterward, former SuperCampers reached out to BuzzFeed News about the 1985 incident. Reporters then contacted other former campers and staffers — dozens of whom independently recalled hearing about it. Many also remembered a heavily sexualized seminar delivered by Robbins to campers as young as 13. Several said they had been waiting years for a reporter to contact them. This is the first time Robbins has been accused of assaulting a minor — and it is also the first allegation of sexual misconduct by the guru that could be corroborated by eyewitnesses.
Robbins is following the usual play book of these predators — hit-and-run sexual encounters, denial, accusing his victims of trying to get his money, denial, shaming women, denial — but there was one more box he had to fill in on my bingo card. He had to file a lawsuit against anyone who reported his behavior.
Tony Robbins has sued us (in Ireland) over this incredible reporting: https://t.co/qH15RGphmJ. Here's our statement: pic.twitter.com/aqPLpwQKtS
— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) November 26, 2019
Bonus points for filing in Ireland, of all places. It turns out that Ireland has extraordinarily slack defamation laws — the entire burden of proof rests on the defendant, with everything skewed to benefit wealthy people who are offended that someone dislikes them. It’s an interesting twist on the usual strategy of filing a SLAPP suit in states that lack strong anti-SLAPP laws. He has instead gone international in his venue-shopping. He’s rich, he can afford to kick the peons where ever he wants.
Isn’t there a US law to prevent venue shopping in cases like this?
Sean Boyd says
Jeebus, I hope this doesn’t give Carrier any ideas.
Individual states have laws and they apply to cases filed in those state. It is Irish law that would determine if this is venue shopping. As far as Carrier and depending on the agreement he signed, he quite likely would open himself to a counter suit for violating the agreement in the US if he filed a suit for defamation in Ireland, but, more importantly, Ireland has a 1 year time frame for filing after initial publication.
Andrew G. says
@1: There is indeed such a law:
We in Ireland thought we were so enlightened because we passed some liberal laws about gay marriage and abortion and the neo liberal weasel who represents us is the son of immigrants AND a gay man.
Our country is still set up to exclusively cater to the rich foreign interests that our elite eye with envy and suck up to at every chance they get.
It will serve us right when the US sorts out its tax loopholes and all those ‘job creators’ drop us like a turd.
Peter Coolidge says
For some reason, I thought you were writing about Tommy Robinson, who is also a super creepy guy who does not respect women’s personal boundaries, among other character deficiencies. I had completely forgotten about Tony and his little fledgling cult.
WMDKitty -- Survivor says
Well… yeah. Is this surprising to anyone? Mr. Robbins always came off as forking creepy.